One of my favourite paintings that I did in the past.
It was inspired by an Iranian woman’s story. She had a very tough and rough upbringing just like the roaring sea in the background of the painting.
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. – John 16:13A ( NKJV)
She encountered her Redeemer, she has been upheld by the hands of the Creator of the Universe ever since.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6 NIV
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJ)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I (Jesus) came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10 (NLT)
The encounter with Jesus Christ brought a burst of light into her life. She understood her sins were forgiven by Jesus’ sacrifice, and there is new life and new hope after His resurrection. Where there is Holy Spirit there is Freedom. In the midst of tribulation and difficulties in the world, the woman has the peace that surpasses all understanding, which comes from Jesus Christ.
Korowai is an ancient New Zealand Maori weaving art tradition. Embedded in each piece of Korowai is a personal story and history of the weaver. Where I currently live is a beautiful country, renowned for its nature and beauty. The Christian faith has also been a part of this land, passed on from generation to generation since the 1800s. It is slowly disappearing in contemporary society. While I weaved the Korowai, the green feather is representative of the nature here and the blue feather is the sky and sea enveloping it. The red feather is representative of the blood of Jesus Christ. The white is the Holy Spirit. While the land is experiencing an increase in pollution, the spirit in the land is also becoming polluted. Only when the heart returns to Christ, the Holy Sprit will wash the land clean and pure and restore it to its formal glory. This Korowai represents my prayer for the hearts of the land to turn back to Christ.
This was my first oil painting during my time in university.
Once I was wandering around the river, and wondering about the purpose of my life. I was feeling very down and empty in my heart. At that moment a foreign man with a little boy approached me. The little boy looked into my eyes, and said to me, ” Jesus loves you ! ” Suddenly, there was a river of warmth entering my heart, and it brought tears to my eyes.
This foreign man shared with me the Gospel. He showed me the book of John, and I received Jesus as my Saviour. It was a turning point of my life. I felt new from the inside out, and I found the purpose and the meaning of my life.
The Gospel is so simple, yet powerful. ” For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but will have eternal life. – John 3:16 ” The lyrics of a song by Brain Johnson sum it all up, ” Love came down “
I realize that in our life journey, even though we might not be aware of God’s existence, He is always there. His hand is always holding onto me. He never gives me up. ” Love came down and rescued me, I am yours, forever yours…….”
I went to a conference and the speaker was sharing about her experiences of rescuing girls from brothels, and streets. I heard some sad stories of human trafficking. According to the report, there may now be as many as 30 million people worldwide held against their will to be a sex slave or forced labour. There is injustice and unheard crying in our world.
However, there is hope that the Eden ministry brings the love of Jesus Christ to those dark corners. The team reaches out, rescues and restores those girls. There are prevention programs, counselling and health awareness through psychotherapeutic behavioural therapy and creative therapies. They provide safe houses, vocational training and economic empowerment.
In the conference, there was a stall selling jewellery hand-made by those precious girls. Each piece of jewellery has a story behind. Like this one:
It’s made with two hearts. When the customer purchases the 18K gold-plated stainless steel pendant, there is also a heart pendant which fits perfectly inside. This is removed and made into another necklace , which is then given to a girl who is in the slave trade. The Eden team gives the girl the small heart necklace inside, and tells her how precious she is. People on the other side of the world are praying for her. The team gives their contact number to the girl as well, helping to rescue her from her current situation. Watch the short video about this jewellery here.
I was so touched and inspired by what Eden ministry is doing, I bought a few pieces of jewellery to give as a gift, and share their story with my friends as well as on my blog.
Every piece of jewellery we bought, goes to fund the new life of those girls.
Each jewellery represents ” Hope ” and ” Love ” of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
To know more about Eden ministry, please visit the website here.
During the Art Residency in Nairobi, Kenya. It was a privilege to share a few tasks with Hezron Maina. The first one was the mask making, and the second one was painting a mural with him. He is very willing to share his skills and talents. I had a good experience working with him, and I learned a lot from his professional skills and attitude.
Hezron Maina is a self-taught artist, he has been in the Art field now for three years ( up to 2019). He has not done art at school except had some elementary introductions to it. After his secondary education, he did a Heavy equipment operation course, but his heart drifted back to art. Nowadays he works as a visual artist and an interior designer.
Hezron Maina says, ” I love nature, and am inspired by God’s creation. My passion is to make God known through my paintings, for I believe that an image lasts longer in the human mind than a written statement. “
Hezron Maina has an amazing eye for details. I feel very humbled by his humility and talents. Hezorn Maina has a pastoral heart. Every night during the Art Residency, he called the local artists together for devotion. They studied the Word of God together, and prayed together.
What most impressed me was his genuine attitude towards people and towards God. On the last night of the Art Residency ceremony, Hezron Maina apologized to everyone and asked forgiveness if he had done any offensive towards anyone. I reckon he is a man of integrity and very humble.
This coming September, Hezron Maina is getting married to his beautiful bride. He has a heart for marriage, and I believe that he will have a beautiful and godly family in the future. God bless!
Zoe Cromwell is a New Zealander and have lived in the South Pacific and also worked as a mission partner with SIM, using art in Ethiopia and the Middle East.
She says, ” I’m keen to see more mission organisations accepting artists, because creative people with skills in any of the arts can reach people who wouldn’t readily accept other kinds of mission personnel. That’s why I now organise art residencies in Kenya — and hope to spread this to other places. These events allow local artists and overseas artists to come together and find out what art as mission could mean for them. ”
Zoe Cromwell has rich experiences in painting and mixed media. She is a great mentor during the Art Residency, see more about Zoe Cromwell’s art works, please visit http://www.zoe.net.nz/
I made this piece of art work during the Art Residency in Nairobi, Kenya.
Medium: Recycled newspaper, recycled fabric, acrylic paints and Eastern Asian ink on a canvas.
The triptych on the canvas represents love overcoming
The 1st panel is inspired by Maasai bead jewellery,
made by objects found locally in Nairobi, Kenya, i.e. the recycled newspaper
and fabric. The small feather in the centre is from a Korowai, which is from a N.Z.
The 2nd panel is a local Kenyan girl wearing
traditional jewellery beads. The 3rd panel is a girl from New Zealand, flying
all the way to Kenya for the love of the local people and culture.
Even though there are geographic, language and
cultural boundaries, the love of Christ is still able to bring people from
different cultural backgrounds together. This love crosses over all boundaries
and obstacles without limitation.
I know Papaya through the Art Residency in Nairobi, Kenya, this June. I like the work of the mixed medium (the one on the top right corner) a lot, it is inspired from one of the local places we visited. She has a great gift in realistic drawing with pencil and pastel.
Papaya says, ” The Kenya trip helped to give me a boost in the right direction, I am more motivated to continue creating unique art that tells truth and shows beauty. ”